- July 26, 2021
In a rare opportunity, they are seldom seen together, Andrew Kay drove down to Dungeness to meet with cabaret legends Miss Hope Springs and her musical director Ty Jeffries.
Hello Ty, Hello Hope, thank you both for agreeing to talk to me today.
Ty: Hello Andrew so nice of you to ask us to be the victims…I mean the subjects of your interview.
Hope: What’s Ty doing here?!
Let’s start by asking how and when you both met? Was it a good meeting, did you immediately hit it off?
Hope: Fate flung us together outside the Mussel Inn in Dungeness after one of my impromptu shows entertaining the locals.
Ty: Hope’s charming husband Irving kept offering me a light (which I thought was strange as I don’t smoke) and we got chatting…one thing led to another.
And has that relationship continued on an even keel since then?
Hope: I used to be in an act called Eve and Keel. I was Eve and Keel was a stuffed monkey.
Ty: We rarely talk so it’s difficult to say…
Without being rude, how old are you both?
Ty: Well you can’t ask that question WITHOUT being rude so it’s a non-starter really.
Hope: I’m thirty nine.
Hope when you write your songs, do you always have yourself in mind or do you sometimes think a song would be ideal for another star, say Dame Shirley Bassey?
Do you always agree on how a song should be arranged, is Ty a strict collaborator Hope? Does he rule you with a rod of steel or a velvet glove?
Hope: I’m going to be frank and admit that it’s my way or the highway.
Ty: (whispers) And her way is usually extremely high.
And does Hope always deliver a song in the way you envisaged it Ty?
Ty: She has her own erm…unique style. I won’t be drawn on it any further.
Hope’s performances have now been globally acclaimed and given numerous top awards but in a camper van, with no mantle piece, where do you display them Hope?
Hope: In the fridge.
Hope, you live here on the pebbles with your husband Irving and his close hairdresser friend Carlos, it’s not exactly capacious, how do you cope?
Hope: When Irving told me he was getting a little camper…I was like… I don’t think that’s possible!
Ty: I think we’ve alllll heard that one now Hope.
And Ty, do you visit Hope here in Dungeness often or do you mainly engage in online intercourse?
Hope: We are not on the internet. And to be honest, I’m a bit of a luddite.
Ty: OH Hope… that’s not true. Andrew, she does keep a blog – using a stone slab and a chisel.
Does Irving resent your very close relationship with Hope?
Ty: Irving spends most of his time with Carlos so we rarely see him. Irving does help with Hope’s stage costumes (often leaving pins in rather unfortunate places) and Carlos does Hope’s erm…hair.
Are many of your songs are autobiographical Hope?
Hope: They are drawn from the rich glittering, if somewhat threadbare, tapestry of my life. From the Ritz to the pits and back again. I have delved deep into my hidden inner parts and exposed myself.
Do you tour with Hope Ty? Are you there for every performance in the wings keeping an eye on Hope?
Ty: Dear God no! You don’t expect me to be seen in the sort of places she plays do you?
2020 and 2021 have been strange years in the arts, how did lockdown affect you both?
Hope: Well I was retiring in 2020 and about to do my farewell tour. But it’s ended up that I had my comeback before I went.
Ty; I survived on Netflix and Deliveroo.
And finally what plans have you for the future, will we be seeing more of Hope and perhaps you too Ty will be back on stage in your own right?
Ty: I don’t perform Andrew. I’m just there to make sure she at least sings in the same key she is playing in -at preferably the same tempo and hopefully using the lyrics from the same song. She occasionally goes horribly wrong, especially since she started mixing her meds.
Hope: Stuff and nonsense Ty. Speak for yourself. Personally I am planning a major international tour.
Ty: It’s actually a day trip to the Isle of Sheppey…Wetherspoon’s have booked her again.
Well thank you both so much for sparing the time to talk to me.
Miss Hope Springs: I’ve Been Around
Brighton Palace Pier
19 September 7pm